drugsThe National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has produced a pathway guide for professionals working with vulnerable young people under the age of 25 who abuse substances or are at risk of doing so.

According to statistics from the Health & Social Care Information Centre,  the most common drug under 18s access specialist services for substance misuse was cannabis, which accounted for 13,200 (64%) of all admissions to such services.

Interventions to reduce substance abuse among vulnerable young people, includes identifying what constitutes abusive substances (illegal drugs and alcohol when used with other substances); advice on how to develop a local strategy which includes a range of community-based activities; how to work with parents, carers and other organisations so the right support can be given, including referrals; and the treatment offered, including group-based behavioural therapy for children aged ten to 12; a family-based programme for those aged 11-16.

To access the care pathway, visit http://guidance.nice.org.uk/PH4